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Health and Safety Considerations

By: Sam Harrington-Lowe - Updated: 19 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Health And Safety Health And Safety

With running an events business there are two areas of consideration when it comes to health and safety. Firstly there is your own office space or working environment for your staff, and secondly there are the events themselves.

You need a health and safety policy that covers both and there are certain requirements you have to fulfil to meet the necessary guidelines and legal requirements.

Register Your Business

If you have a business that employs staff then you will have to register with either the local authority or the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) which is the government body that deals with health and safety issues. The HSE has a helpline and website to assist you with the setting up process and which body you need to register with will depend on the kind of business you have.

If you work with hazardous substances – and in this case that might be fireworks for example if you’re an events pyrotechnics company – you may also need a license so check when registering.

Employers Liability Insurance

If you employ staff and something happens to them whilst working for you – say they get burnt or falling props injure them – you may find you have a claim for compensation. The word compulsory means just that. If you have staff, you will need this insurance. Those exempt are sole traders, or companies with only family members as staff. There are a list of approved insurers which you can get from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Appointments and Policies

You must appoint someone competent to ensure you meet the health and safety requirements – this could be you or a worker, or an external person – and this person will need to check all guidelines are being adhered to.

Your H&S policy is the document that outlines your approach and objectives and the arrangements for health and safety you have put in place in the business. If you have five or more staff it should be a written document, although even if you have fewer staff members it’s good practice anyway. The policy shows your commitment to health and safety, describes how you will implement and monitor your health and safety controls and should also be reviewed regularly.

Risk Assessment

You will need to assess what potential risks there exist in your business and what steps you will need to address them and any potential situations that arise

Basic Welfare

It’s not just about preventing accidents. As an employer, you will need to provide basic living conditions including a toilet, lighting, heating and washing facilities. Take into consideration the possibility that you might have disabled staff too.


Health and safety law states that employees must be trained and clearly instructed in their duties and that employers and host companies must ensure contractors are properly trained to work safely. Ensure your staff are clearly advised on what hazards they may face in the course of their work, how to deal with them, and any emergency procedures. Everyone, from the MD to the work experience worker must be appraised, and ensure you keep this updated as new staff join or conditions change.


Don’t forget to ask staff though, as well as train them. You might well find that as they work in different areas within the company that they have different or more comprehensive experience of potential hazards, so remember to listen too, and consult them for advice.

Display and Report

Once you have drawn up your H&S policy you need to display it so that all staff can see it. In the unhappy eventuality of a serious accident or even a death at work, you must report it. This is a legal requirement and the easiest way to do it is to call the Incident Contact Centre.

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